Here are our excellent ideas on how to open an architectural graphics business.
Overview of Architectural Graphics Business Opportunities
In today's economy, signage has become a critical feature in commercial architecture. The days of hanging a simple shingle are long gone as more and more businesses demand signage that is functional, stylish and architecturally integrated into the design of their buildings.
The field of architectural graphics offers a multitude of business opportunities for entrepreneurs. While some providers offer start to finish signage system solutions, others specialize in areas such as design, manufacturing, installation or maintenance.
The shape and scope of your architectural graphics business will depend on the skills and resources you bring to the table, as well as the needs that exist in your target market. Rather than assuming that your products and services will be warmly received in the marketplace, conduct thorough market research to identify gaps that can used to give your startup a foothold in industry.
Finding Customers for an Architectural Graphics Startup
The Internet has rapidly become a primary marketing tool for many B2B product and service categories, including architectural graphics. The advantage of a high quality website is that it allows your business to provide virtually unlimited amount of information and images to prospects, in a format that can be easily changed to reflect current service offerings, special deals and other updates.
Although you will want to develop multiple online and offline marketing channels, it's critical to perform SEO activities to attract prospects to your company website. Without proper SEO, your website will be invisible to your customer base -- a major faux pas for an architectural graphics firm counting on their online content to convert prospects to customers.
Differentiation and New Architectural Graphics Businesses
Differentiation is a must for any new business venture. In the architectural graphics game, differentiation will give your startup the ability to compete with entrenched competitors, even if they are capable of offering lower prices for their signage.
In the current architectural graphics business, there are several ways for new businesses to effectively differentiate their products and services. Green interior and exterior signage is in high demand throughout the industry. By tailoring your startup to environmentally friendly products, you can outperform competitors in attracting customers who prioritize green B2B products.
Maintenance is another area of concern for architectural graphics buyers. Many sophisticated signage solutions require extensive maintenance. To differentiate your startup, consider focusing on low maintenance products and/or offering maintenance contracts with each sale.
Tips for Writing an Architectural Graphics Company Business Plan
Many new architectural graphics business owners feel unprepared for the challenge of writing a business plan.
Fortunately, you don't have to tackle your architectural graphics company's business plan by yourself. These days, there are tons of great resources and solutions available to support the business plan writing process.
Our Business Plan Help section discusses some of the business plan resources other entrepreneurs have found useful.
Investigate the Competition
Well in advance of opening an architectural graphics business in your area, it's worthwhile to determine how many competitors you have. Try our link below to get a list of local competitors in your city. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of architectural graphics businesses near you.
How are you going to successfully complete with existing firms? It's important that you never underestimate the competition.
Find Good Remote Business Advice
As part of your due diligence on opening an architectural graphics business, it's a smart move to learn from folks who are already in business. If you think owners of nearby architectural graphics businesses will give you advice, think again. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started an architectural graphics business outside of your community may be more than happy to give you a few tips, once they realize that you are not going to directly compete with them in their community. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. If you are persistent, you can find a business mentor who is willing to help you out.
Do you know how to find somebody who runs an architectural graphics business in a different locale who can assist you?
Simple. Let your fingers do the walking by using the link below.
Benefits & Drawbacks of an Architectural Graphics Business Acquisition
An acquisition can be a great way to enter architectural graphics business ownership. But it's important to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of buying a business before you decide on either an acquisition or startup approach.
PROs: Existing companies have proven business models and a history of profitability. They should also have some degree of brand recognition and an established customer base.
DRAWBACKS: However, purchased companies can also come with pre-existing challenges and/or liabilities. Ultimately, it may be more difficult to tailor a purchased business to your ownership style.
Consider Buying a Franchise
The odds of surviving in business zoom upwards if you purchase a franchise and leverage their successful brand and track record.
Prior to making the decision to open an architectural graphics business, you should investigate whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might help you avoid common entrepreneurial mistakes.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you currently own an architectural graphics business, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to architectural graphics businesses, this isn't the right place for you. Try these resources instead:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.